Spring is right around the corner, and with it – new beginnings, better weather and lots of sunny cocktails.
With 74% of us now motivated to make more environmentally-friendly choices in the name of sustainability, what better way to go greener than beginning to grow your own fruit and vegetables? Growing fruit and veg at home could save you around £149 a year.
Drinks experts The Bottle Club have taken a look at some of the best fruit, vegetables and herbs you can grow this spring to garnish your cocktails, perfect for those upcoming garden parties.
Perfect for: Mojito
Mint is a tasty, versatile herb – in winter, it’s perfect for making homemade lamb sauce to accompany a delicious Sunday dinner or infusing in hot tea. In summer, it’s ideal for none other than a fresh, ice-cold Mojito cocktail.
Best planted in the spring months, mint can seem uncontrollable if planted straight into the ground – which is why you should plant it in a large pot and harvest by pinching off the stems, encouraging new stems to grow.
Perfect for: Strawberry Daiquiri
We all love strawberries, and we all love a strawberry daiquiri even more. This slushy, rum-based cocktail is perfect for cooling down on a hot day and tastes even better if made with fresh, home-grown strawberries.
Strawberries are relatively easy to grow and can be planted in early spring – all they need is soil, fertiliser, plenty of water and protection from any pesky threats such as birds or squirrels. Harvest when they are bright red and eat as soon as possible – they tend not to be as tasty when they’ve ripened.
Perfect for: Sex On The Beach
Sex On The Beach is a universally loved summer cocktail, usually made up of vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice and of course… fresh oranges.
Oranges can be a little tricky to grow, especially in the U.K – but it’s not impossible. Oranges grow on small trees that also happen to produce beautiful white flowers. Best bought in spring, orange trees can be kept outside in a sheltered, sunny spot in summer, then taken inside and place in a warm, well-lit area (ideally a greenhouse) in the colder months.
Perfect for: Bloody Mary
If there’s one thing we’re expecting this spring… it’s lots of hangovers. The Bloody Mary cocktail is well known for helping the morning after a fun night – however, it’s not the vodka but the tomatoes that help cure your headache. Tomatoes are jam-packed with electrolytes, antioxidants and vitamins that can help a hangover, but they’re also relatively easy to grow too!
Tomatoes can be planted in early spring, and you can purchase seeds or seedlings. If you’re planting seeds, we advise you to grow in a small pot placed in a sunny, indoors spot before moving into a larger, outdoor pot when they begin to flower.
Perfect for: Raspberry Crush
A Raspberry Crush cocktail is a delicious, versatile cocktail that can be mixed up with different flavours and served with or without alcohol – if you plan to use alcohol, though, opt for vodka.
Plant raspberries in weed-free soil with either farmyard manure or general fertiliser in early spring for a midsummer harvest. Once ripe, you can pick them – preferably on a dry day, and choose if you want to eat them fresh or freeze them.